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250 birds rescued from house

Calcutta, Jan. 25: Customs officials today rescued over 250 birds belonging to 21 species from the Baguiati house where three baby chimpanzees and five marmosets had been found last week.

Birds belonging to three Indian species were among those rescued. Under the Wildlife Protection Act, no individual can keep native birds in captivity.

The customs officials said they had not found any import documents relating to the foreign birds. Cross-border trade in foreign birds is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Traders importing birds must have a licence and obtain necessary clearances from both countries.

“We have lodged a case against the house owner, Supratip Guha, under the Wildlife Protection Act because there were some Indian birds inside the house. Keeping Indian birds in an individual’s house is a violation of the law,” said Ujjwal Kumar Bhattacharya, the principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife).

Another case was lodged against Guha, who was arrested on Thursday after the chimpanzees were found, as no import documents could be found.

The rescued Indian birds include the oriental pied hornbill. The foreign birds include the Amazon parrot, blue yellow macaw, grey parrot and the red green parrot, a forest official said.